Category: Business Matters
Fatwa#: 37927
Asked Country: India

Answered Date: Apr 24,2017

Title: Online Orders

Question

Assalamualaikum Shaikhs,

 

I run an eCommerce Online and Brick n Mortar Store in India. Occasionally, it happens that our Customers place an order online (and also Pay online) on the website for a particular quantity of the product, say 5 units of a Mobile Phone. Sometimes, due to non-synced Inventory, we find only 4 Mobile Phones in Stock and then to complete the Order, we go to our local Stockists/Dealers and procure the one missing Mobile Phone and ship the Order of 5 Mobile Phones (this whole process usually takes a day and we have no agreement/contract with the customer where we promise same day Shipping). Sometimes, the customer requests to ship whatever quantity is available in our physical inventory and then ship the rest later. So in such cases, we immediately dispatch the 4 units and then ship the 5th unit free of cost to the Customer.

 

Is this kind of Sale halal? I've read up in couple of books that the Seller should have physical posession of all the goods before he can sell it off. In Online eCommerce, the seller is also not able to know if we have the complete quantity available in Stock, however he's not bothered (about our inventory) as long as we quickly get the remaining quantity and ship it to him on time and process his Order. I'm still concerned if this kind of Sale is halal.

 

Similarly, we occasionally get huge Order requests from Organizations (eg: 100 Mobile Phones) , some of which pay us an advance amount (typically 50-80% of the total Invoiced amount) so that we can start procuring the Order components for them. We generally give them a lead time of 1-3 weeks to process the Order and they agree to our terms and conditions before giving us the advance amount. In this case also, we first take the amount and since we don't have the required quantity of Mobile Phones in stock, we now go an procure them from our Stockists/Dealers. Is this Sale/transaction halal? Due to huge inventory costs, we don't maintain large quantity, and get the required quantity after the Customer confirms the Order by paying upfront online.

Please note that there is still a possibility of us not getting the required quantity after the customer makes the Order. In such a scenario, we promptly refund back the amount for the quantity we couldn't arrange for.

 

Sometimes, the Customers visit our Store physically and pay us the total amount to pre-order/book a particular component and ask us to ship it or notify them when it's available in Stock. Is this legit?

 

JazakaAllahu Khairan.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

1)    You are correct in stating that it is not permissible to sell items that one does not have in one’s possession.

 

In your situation, you can use the concept of Salam to conclude a transaction for any item that is out of stock. This is the procedure (requisites) of the Salam transaction:

 

-        Clearly state on your website that this is your procedure to carry out a transaction for items out of stock and furnish the relevant details.[i]

Note: Salam may be concluded only for items tht can be measured by weight [mawzuni] or measured by volume [makeeli] or the units are of similar nature. Salam cannot take place in items other than this.

-        Take an upfront payment.

-        Show a description of the item on your website with all relevant details.

-        Date of shipping the item to the client should be specified.[ii]

-        The item needs to come into your risk for you to assume possession (qabdha). This condition is necessary otherwise this whole procedure will be futile.[iii] If you are going to ship the item directly to the client, then you can make the shipping company your representative (wakeel) to fulfil the necessary condition of possession on your behalf.

 

Take note that the transaction for the items available and not available should be reflected separately on the invoice.[iv]

 

2)    If you use your own money to obtain the ordered items, then the sale will be permissible. The money that will be paid to you upfront will be considered a trust (amanat) and governed by the laws of amanah. After the items are obtained come in your possession, you may conclude the deal. This will be permissible.[v]

 

In this scenario too, it is necessary for you to assume possession of the items yourself or by making the shipping company your representative (wakeel) if you are going to ship them directly to the client.

 

If however, you use the money paid to you upfront to secure the order, then you may carry out the transaction according to the steps mentioned above.

 

3)    The same rules will apply in this scenario as well. If you use your own money to secure the ordered items, then this will be permissible and the deal will only be concluded once you obtain the items. If you will use the advanced payment, then you can carry out the transaction in the Salam procedure.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Imran Patel

Student Darul Iftaa

Zambia

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

 

 

 



[i]

الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي (3/ 70)

قال: "وكذا في المذروعات" لأنه يمكن ضبطها بذكر الذرع والصفة والصنعة، ولا بد منها لترتفع الجهالة فيتحقق شرط صحة السلم، وكذا في المعدودات التي لا تتفاوت كالجوز والبيض، لأن العددي المتقارب معلوم القدر مضبوط الوصف مقدور التسليم فيجوز السلم فيه، والصغير والكبير فيه سواء لاصطلاح الناس على إهدار التفاوت

[ii]

الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي (3/ 72)

قال: "ولا يجوز إلا بأجل معلوم" لما روينا، ولأن الجهالة فيه مفضية إلى المنازعة كما في البيع

 

الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي (3/ 73)

قال: "ولا يصح السلم عند أبي حنيفة رحمه الله إلا بسبع شرائط: جنس معلوم" كقولنا حنطة أو شعير "ونوع معلوم" كقولنا سقية أو بخسية "وصفة معلومة" كقولنا جيد أو رديء "ومقدار معلوم" كقولنا كذا كيلا بمكيال معروف وكذا وزنا "وأجل معلوم" والأصل فيه ما روينا والفقه فيه ما بينا "ومعرفة مقدار رأس المال إذا كان يتعلق العقد على مقداره" كالمكيل والموزون والمعدود "وتسمية المكان الذي يوفيه فيه إذا كان له حمل ومؤنة"

[iii]

الاختيار لتعليل المختار (2/ 8)

قَالَ: (وَلَا يَجُوزُ بَيْعُ الْمَنْقُولِ قَبْلَ الْقَبْضِ) لِأَنَّهُ - عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ - «نَهَى عَنْ بَيْعِ مَا لَمْ يُقْبَضْ» ، وَلِأَنَّهُ عَسَاهُ يَهْلَكُ فَيَنْفَسِخُ الْبَيْعُ فَيَكُونُ غَرَرًا، وَكَذَا كُلُّ مَا يَنْفَسِخُ الْعَقْدُ بِهَلَاكِهِ كَبَدَلِ الصُّلْحِ وَالْإِجَارَةِ لِمَا ذَكَرْنَا

 

 

[iv]

الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي (3/ 51)

"وإن جمع بين عبد ومدبر أو بين عبده وعبد غيره صح البيع في العبد بحصته من الثمن" عند علمائنا الثلاثة، وقال زفر رحمه الله: فسد فيهما، ومتروك التسمية عامدا كالميتة، والمكاتب وأم الولد كالمدبر له الاعتبار بالفصل الأول، إذ محلية البيع منتفية بالإضافة إلى الكل ولهما أن الفساد بقدر المفسد فلا يتعدى إلى القن، كمن جمع بين الأجنبية وأخته في النكاح، بخلاف ما إذا لم يسم ثمن كل واحد منهما؛ لأنه مجهول ولأبي حنيفة رحمه الله وهو الفرق بين الفصلين أن الحر لا يدخل تحت العقد أصلا؛ لأنه ليس بمال والبيع صفقة واحدة فكان القبول في الحر شرطا للبيع في العبد وهذا شرط فاسد، بخلاف النكاح؛ لأنه لا يبطل بالشروط الفاسدة.

وأما البيع في هؤلاء موقوف وقد دخلوا تحت العقد لقيام المالية ولهذا ينفذ في عبد الغير بإجازته، وفي المكاتب برضاه في الأصح، وفي المدبر بقضاء القاضي، وكذا في أم الولد عند أبي حنيفة وأبي يوسف رحمه الله، إلا أن المالك باستحقاقه المبيع وهؤلاء باستحقاقهم أنفسهم ردوا البيع فكان هذا إشارة إلى البقاء، كما إذا اشترى عبدين وهلك أحدهما قبل القبض، وهذا لا يكون شرط القبول في غير المبيع ولا بيعا بالحصة ابتداء ولهذا لا يشترط بيان ثمن كل واحد فيه.

[v]

جئت بهذا التكييف حتى يكون مصححا للعقد كما يعلل في بيع سيف محلى وغيره من المسائل:

الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي (3/ 83)

 ولنا أن المقابلة المطلقة تحتمل مقابلة الفرد بالفرد كما في مقابلة الجنس بالجنس، وأنه طريق متعين لتصحيحه فيحمل عليه تصحيحا لتصرفه، وفيه تغيير وصفه لا أصله لأنه يبقى موجبه الأصلي وهو ثبوت الملك في الكل بمقابلة الكل، وصار هذا كما إذا باع نصف عبد مشترك بينه وبين غيره ينصرف إلى نصيبه تصحيحا لتصرفه بخلاف ما عد من المسائل.

DISCLAIMER - AskImam.org questions
AskImam.org answers issues pertaining to Shar'ah. Thereafter, these questions and answers are placed for public view on www.askimam.org for educational purposes. However, many of these answers are unique to a particular scenario and cannot be taken as a basis to establish a ruling in another situation or another environment. Askimam.org bears no responsibility with regards to these questions being used out of their intended context.
  • The Shar's ruling herein given is based specifically on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • AskImam.org bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
  • This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of AskImam.org.
  • Any or all links provided in our emails, answers and articles are restricted to the specific material being cited. Such referencing should not be taken as an endorsement of other contents of that website.